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With student loan payments resuming and inflation still high, many struggle to afford the basics

According to the Education Department, about 40% of borrowers who owed a payment in October when payments resumed failed to make that payment by mid-November.

Borrowers won’t face late fees for a one-year grace period, but Betsy Mayotte, the president of the nonprofit The Institute of Student Loan Advisors, warned interest is still building.

“If the loan ends up defaulting, it’s going to be a big hit on your credit. Future debt that you need to take on — a mortgage, a credit card, a car loan — is likely going to have a much higher interest rate, and therefore cost you more,” she said.